The Influence of the Model "The Medieval Situation" and "Reservations"[ edit ] Lewis begins by introducing the Middle Ages as a whole and by laying out the components that shaped their world view. This worldview, or "Model of the Universe", was shaped by two factors in particular: "the essentially bookish character of their culture, and their intense love of system". A Model must be built which will get everything in without a clash; and it can do this only by becoming intricate, by mediating its unity through a great, and finely ordered, multiplicity. The "Model" is primarily based in art and literature. It does not account for historical changes in philosophic schools or serve as a general history of science or medicine. In addition, only bits and pieces of the Model served as part of the general backdrop of the age.
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The Influence of the Model "The Medieval Situation" and "Reservations"[ edit ] Lewis begins by introducing the Middle Ages as a whole and by laying out the components that shaped their world view.
This worldview, or "Model of the Universe", was shaped by two factors in particular: "the essentially bookish character of their culture, and their intense love of system". A Model must be built which will get everything in without a clash; and it can do this only by becoming intricate, by mediating its unity through a great, and finely ordered, multiplicity.
The "Model" is primarily based in art and literature. It does not account for historical changes in philosophic schools or serve as a general history of science or medicine. In addition, only bits and pieces of the Model served as part of the general backdrop of the age.
And, above all, Lewis is clear to state that, "On the highest level, then, the Model was recognised as provisional. What we should like to know is how far down the intellectual scale this cautious view extended.
He excludes the Bible, Virgil, and Ovid as texts that a student of medieval literature should already be familiar with. He spends some time discussing the pagans and Christians of this time, and notes that both were monotheists. Both are encyclopaedists. He begins by explaining the phenomenon of "kindly enclyning": everything returns to the place from which it is drawn.
Lewis goes on to answer the question that may arise in response to "kindly enclyning" and that is: "[Did] medieval thinkers really believe that what we now call inanimate objects [possess] sentient and purposive [qualities]"? The answer was "in general", no.
Lewis says "in general" because "they attributed life and even intelligence to one privileged class of objects the stars But full blown Panpsychism In support, Lewis describes the "four grades of terrestrial reality: mere existence as in stones , existence with growth as in vegetables , existence and growth with sensation as in beasts , and all these with reason as in men ".
These combine to give us the Four Elements: "The union of hot and dry becomes fire; that of hot and moist, air; of cold and moist, water; of cold and dry, earth.
In the sublunary world, all the elements have sorted themselves out: "Earth, the heaviest, has gathered itself together at the centre. On it lies the lighter water; above that, the still lighter air. Fire, the lightest of all, whenever it was free, has flown up to the circumference of Nature and forms a sphere just below the orbit of the Moon. Fixed in each of the first seven spheres is one luminous body. The spheres also transmitted Influences to the Earth.
Here, Lewis takes up the question of astrology in the Middle Ages. He notes that within the Medieval mind the universe was finite, that it was of a perfect spherical shape containing within itself an ordered variety. Lewis states that while a modern mind might gaze into the sky and interpret vast nothingness, a person living within the Middle Ages would be able to admire it as one might admire grand architecture.
He concludes that while modern astronomy "may arouse terror, or bewilderment, or vague reverie; the spheres of the old present us with an object in which the mind can rest, overwhelming in its greatness but satisfying in its harmony.
He also goes on to discuss the strange persistence of certain pagan ideas, such as the deification of the planets. He then shares four theories or attempts to fit them into the Model: They could be a third species, distinct from angels and men.
They are angels who have been "demoted", so to speak They are the dead, or at least, a special class of the dead They are fallen angels devils "Such were the efforts to find a socket into which the Fairies would fit. No agreement was achieved.
As long as the Fairies remained at all they remained evasive. The Earth[ edit ] Everything below the moon is mutable and subject to the influences of the spheres.
While the other planets have Intelligences deities associated with them, the Earth was not believed to have one since she did not move and so did not require guidance. Dante was the first to suggest an Intelligence for her: Fortune. Lewis believes that the misconception may arise from the mappemounde , which represent the Earth as a circle or disc.
Beasts[ edit ] In regards to the knowledge of zoology as it appears in the bestiary tradition, Lewis argues that "as there was a practical geography which had nothing to do with the mappemounde, so there was a practical zoology that had nothing to do with the Bestiaries.
The focus was on the collection and on the moralitas the animals provided. The Human Soul[ edit ] Speaking of man, Lewis writes: "Man is a rational animal, and therefore a composite being, partly akin to the angels who are rational but Every mode of being in the whole universe contributes to him; he is a cross-section of being.
To explain, Lewis writes: "The powers of Vegetable Soul are nutrition, growth, and propagation. It alone is present in plants. Sensitive Soul, which we find in animals, has these powers but has sentience in addition.
Rational Soul similarly includes Vegetable and Sensitive, and adds reason. The Vegetable Soul is present in plants and gives the powers of nutrition, growth, and propagation.
The Sensitive Soul gives beasts these and the addition of sentience. So we see in the Rational Soul in man, all of the previous abilities with the addition of reason. In other words, man possesses all of the powers of all three soul types or--"though misleadingly", three souls.
Sometimes the outward are simply called "senses" and the inward "wits". The five outward are what are now known as the Five Senses: sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch. The inward are memory, estimation, imagination, phantasy, and common wit or common sense.
First, "How can the soul, conceived as an immaterial substance, act on matter at all? Lewis suggests this would be explained through "supply [of] a "tertium quid It helped explain how the immaterial Soul was able to work upon the physical body. The predominance of specific Humours creates specific temperaments: Sanguine, Choleric, Melancholy, and Phlegmatic.
There is the Sanguine complexion, the best of the four. But, unlike the Sanguine, the Choleric are vindictive. I mean, the Melancholy man of the Middle Ages. Some of them Rather, it is "the picture of the past". The backward, like the upward, glance exhilarated him with a majestic spectacle, and humility was rewarded with the pleasure of admiration.
For example, Grammar and Dialectic are a progression. Rhetoric, prior to the medieval period was "not so much the loveliest as the most practical of the arts. By the middle ages, it has become literary There is no antithesis, indeed no distinction, between Rhetoric and Poetry".
Other ages have not had a Model so universally accepted as theirs, so imaginable and so satisfying to the imagination.
The Discarded Image: An Introduction to Medieval and Renaissance Literature